Solution to Keep the US Government from Snooping

Solution to Keep the US Government from Snooping

In light of continuing news reports of the U.S. government snooping on email and related communications insecurities, Dave Anderson, senior director at Voltage Security offers an engaging commentary. He highlights the value of Solution to Keep the US Government from Snoopingencryption, where the intended email recipient, who is validated, is the one to decrypt the email’s data in order to read it. According to Anderson, the ultimate solution is a stateless key management encryption solution that generates crypto keys on demand, and only when encryption and decryption is needed.

“Email is such a ubiquitous form of communication in business today, not just for simple status communications to employees, but also to distribute content and information outside of the organization to customers, partners and suppliers. Most companies are using email to send sensitive information, including financial, HR, health care and other personally identifiable information, often times without realizing the ease of this information being exposed and lost unless the email and attachments are encrypted. 

“Email can be made private and not subject to exposure or snooping, if the proper encryption methods are implemented to protect the email and all attachments end-to-end, all the way through to the intended recipient. Identity-based encryption, which employs a user’s identity as part of the algorithm to generate the encryption keys on-demand, can effectively encrypt and secure email content and corresponding attachments, both structured and unstructured data, and can maintain that level of encryption from the moment it is created until it is decrypted and read by the intended recipient.

“Many of the surveillance programs in the recent news have employed a process not where they are breaking the crypto, but simply sniffing the email and payload content either before it has been encrypted or after it has been decrypted before it’s sent to the recipient. Gateway solutions are common in these scenarios where the sniffing happens at the gateway, once the gateway receives a clear text email but before the gateway encrypts, or alternatively once the recipient’s gateway receives the encrypted email and then decrypts, but before it gets sent to the recipient.  

“Email security has been available since the dot-com era began as PKI programs provided encryption solutions that could be integrated and used within common email systems.  However, these PKI-based solutions were very difficult to properly deploy. They were very manual in nature and therefore, not user friendly, and often the integration with email systems was difficult and not seamless.  Many companies did not deploy email encryption at this time simply because of these issues, although continued to use email to communicate sensitive information, assuming that other security controls, such as user access and authorization, VPN, or DLP solutions, would keep their email secure, which obviously hasn’t been the case.

“PGP, and other PKI-based encryption solutions, force the customer to adopt a manual, difficult process for generating and managing the crypto keys and certificates used to encrypt, decrypt, and validate users. The key management behind these systems is very difficult for the average enterprise to adopt, and is quite costly over the long run, as the management processes for these systems require a great deal of manual activity and oversight. A better alternative is a stateless key management encryption solution, where crypto keys are generated on demand, only when the user needs to encrypt and decrypt.  Stateless key management, combined with an identity-based encryption solution, completely removes the complexity, cost, and management overhead from an email encryption solution, and can be rapidly adopted and integrated into an enterprise.”

About the Author

Dave Anderson is senior director at Voltage Security.

Featured

  • Maximizing Your Security Budget This Year

    The Importance of Proactive Security Measures: 4 Stories of Regret

    We all want to believe that crime won’t happen to us. So, some business owners hope for the best and put proactive security measures on the back burner, because other things like growth, attracting new customers, and meeting deadlines all seem more pressing. Read Now

  • Today's Enterprise

    Protecting servers and data has evolved rapidly over the past 15-plus years. Early on, concerns centered around the environmental conditions of where servers were housed within a building and the effects of humidity, temperature and air quality on their performance. This led to a better understanding of the need for a controlled environment to maximize equipment lifespan and capacity. It was also a driving force behind consolidating servers in a common space, i.e., the data center. Read Now

  • Study Proves It: Security Awareness Training Reduces Phishing Attacks

    Attackers are increasingly targeting human-based vulnerabilities to infiltrate organizations. Humans have direct access to insider systems and data – any threat actor can easily phish users, steal their credentials and secure keys to the kingdom without having to fight advanced cybersecurity defenses. Studies show social engineering attacks and human errors are behind 68% of all breaches.  Read Now

  • Security Questions Persist After Attempted Assassination Attempt of Donald Trump

Featured Cybersecurity

Webinars

New Products

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • AC Nio

    AC Nio

    Aiphone, a leading international manufacturer of intercom, access control, and emergency communication products, has introduced the AC Nio, its access control management software, an important addition to its new line of access control solutions. 3

  • Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden CM-221 Series Switches

    Camden Door Controls is pleased to announce that, in response to soaring customer demand, it has expanded its range of ValueWave™ no-touch switches to include a narrow (slimline) version with manual override. This override button is designed to provide additional assurance that the request to exit switch will open a door, even if the no-touch sensor fails to operate. This new slimline switch also features a heavy gauge stainless steel faceplate, a red/green illuminated light ring, and is IP65 rated, making it ideal for indoor or outdoor use as part of an automatic door or access control system. ValueWave™ no-touch switches are designed for easy installation and trouble-free service in high traffic applications. In addition to this narrow version, the CM-221 & CM-222 Series switches are available in a range of other models with single and double gang heavy-gauge stainless steel faceplates and include illuminated light rings. 3